Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024

Soccer Skills: The Throw-In (and How To Perform Them Effectively)

Modern football is a constantly evolving game that seeks to find any advantage possible. Coaches and players are always looking for ways to gain an edge, whether it’s through intricate set piece routines or technical improvements. One area that has gained significant attention in recent years is the humble throw-in.

In this article, we will explore not only the rise of the long throw-in, but also provide a comprehensive guide to this fundamental aspect of football. The throw-in is a crucial feature of the game that has been around for over a century. We will provide you with everything you need to know about this basic soccer skill, including a step-by-step guide on how to perform an effective throw-in.

What Is A Soccer Throw-In?

The throw-in is the most common set piece in soccer, occurring more frequently than corners or free kicks. In fact, there are typically 40-50 throw-ins in a professional match, which translates to one every two minutes. Despite its frequency, the throw-in is often overlooked and taken for granted.

A throw-in is awarded when the ball goes out of play on the side of the pitch, rather than beyond the goal lines. The team that did not touch the ball last before it went out of play is awarded the throw-in. The primary objective for the team taking the throw-in is to regain possession, although it is common for teams to lose control immediately after the throw-in.

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Soccer Throw-In Rules: Key Things To Remember

The throw-in is governed by Law 15 in the English Football Association’s Laws of the Game. Here are some key rules to remember when taking a throw-in:

  1. The throw-in must be taken from the point where the ball exited the field of play.
  2. The player must stand facing the field of play with both feet on or outside the touchline.
  3. The ball must be thrown with both hands from behind and over the head.
  4. Opponents must be at least 2 meters away from the point where the throw-in is taken.
  5. The ball is in play as soon as it enters the field of play. If it touches the ground before entering, the throw-in is retaken.
  6. The thrower cannot touch the ball again until it has been touched by another player.
  7. If a player delays the restart of play by leaving the throw-in to a teammate, they can be cautioned.
  8. A foul throw can result in the opposing team being awarded a throw-in from the same position.

While these rules may seem overwhelming, they become natural to players who regularly take throw-ins. However, if you are unfamiliar with the process, it can be confusing. In the next section, we will guide you through how to perform an effective throw-in step by step.

How To Perform An Effective Soccer Throw-In

Follow these steps to improve your throw-in technique:

  1. Pick up the ball with both hands, placing one hand on each side of the ball.
  2. Position yourself on the touchline where the ball exited the field of play.
  3. Arch your back to generate power from your back and shoulders.
  4. Bring the ball up from behind your head and release it when it is over the top of your head.
  5. Use a simple forward flick of the wrists to release the ball.
  6. Join your teammate on the pitch after releasing the ball, prepared to play if needed.
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Practicing different throw-in techniques can enhance your ability to deliver the ball in various ways for different purposes. There are several soccer throw-in drills that can help you refine your technique.

The Rise Of The Long Throw-In

A throw-in in the opposition’s final third presents a unique opportunity for an attacking team. Instead of opting for a short throw-in to maintain possession, teams now have the option to launch the ball into the penalty area from distance. This tactic has gained popularity over the years.

Noteworthy examples include Ian Hutchinson’s throw-in that led to the winning goal in the 1970 FA Cup Final and Andy Legg, who briefly held the world record for the longest throw-in (44.6 meters). Rory Delap became synonymous with the long throw-in during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 Premier League seasons, with his throws creating 24 goals, according to Stats Perform data. On the world stage, players like Leah Fortune have even experimented with techniques like the soccer flip throw-in.

In recent Premier League seasons, the long throw-in has once again become a trend. Teams like Brentford have utilized a data-led approach, employing set piece specialists to become one of England’s most effective teams from throw-ins. The data supports the effectiveness of long throw-ins, as they significantly increase the chances of scoring.

If you want to learn more about other important soccer skills, check out our guide to the half volley and how to execute a perfect strike.


Q: How many throw-ins occur in a soccer match?
A: On average, there are 40-50 throw-ins in a professional soccer match.

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Q: Can a goal be scored directly from a throw-in?
A: No, a goal cannot be scored directly from a throw-in. If the ball goes straight into the opposition’s net, a goal kick is awarded.

Q: Are there specific rules for taking a throw-in?
A: Yes, there are several rules for taking a throw-in, including standing with both feet on or outside the touchline and throwing the ball with both hands from behind and over the head.

Q: What happens if a throw-in is not taken correctly?
A: If a throw-in is not taken correctly, it is classified as a “foul throw,” and the opposing team is awarded a throw-in from the same position.


In this article, we have explored the importance of the throw-in in soccer and provided a comprehensive guide on how to perform an effective throw-in. We have also highlighted the rise of the long throw-in and its effectiveness as an attacking tactic.

Mastering the throw-in is crucial for maintaining possession and creating scoring opportunities. By following the rules and techniques outlined in this article, you can improve your throw-in skills and make a significant impact on the game.

If you want to learn more about other essential soccer skills, visit our website for expert advice and guides. Take your game to the next level and be a valuable asset to your team with Movin993.